Canadian Citizenship and Permanent Residency Through Marriage
Canadian citizens are legally permitted to assist their immediate family members in obtaining citizenship and permanent residency, including their spouses. However, being the spouse of a Canadian citizen does not automatically grant one citizenship and permanent residence in Canada. The complete procedure involves several steps, including immigration, obtaining permanent resident status, and finally, Canadian citizenship.
How to Obtain Permanent Residence Through Marriage
Canada values immigration to expand its labor force and labor market, as well as to reunite separated families. The harmonious bond within a family is highly regarded in Canadian society, which embraces cultural diversity and tolerance, creating a multicultural nation.
A Canadian citizen or permanent resident can assist their spouse or common-law partner in obtaining citizenship or permanent resident status in Canada. The quickest method is to allow the spouse to enter Canada with the aid of a work visa. If they already reside in Canada, their Canadian citizen spouse may sponsor them to become permanent residents and eventually citizens.
In October 2012, the Canadian federal government implemented new rules on immigration and the sponsorship of spouses to protect immigrants and Canadian citizens from fraud, deceit, and scams in the immigration process.
To be sponsored for permanent residency, a spouse must have a genuine and legally binding relationship with their partner, and the relationship must endure for at least two years after they earn their permanent resident status. This regulation aims to prevent immigration system fraud.
The first step in obtaining Canadian citizenship through marriage is getting legally married. A marriage should be recognized by law, typically achieved by obtaining a marriage certificate, which serves as proof of the union and partnership. Alternatively, a common-law marriage may be recognized if a couple has lived together for a significant amount of time, depending on the laws of different countries.
Before starting the citizenship application process for your spouse, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will examine the legitimacy of your marriage. Couples can demonstrate the sincerity of their marriage through actions such as having children together, sharing a residence, and sharing resources.
As a permanent resident of Canada, you have the freedom to live and work anywhere in the country. Your permanent resident card serves as official proof of your residence in Canada, and you remain a permanent resident even if the card’s expiration date has passed.
However, leaving the country for an extended period or committing a crime that violates your right to remain in Canada can result in the loss of your permanent resident status. After marriage, a Canadian citizen can apply to sponsor their immigrated spouse for permanent residency, a critical step in obtaining Canadian citizenship.
Once granted permanent residency status, the spouse can begin the process of becoming a Canadian citizen, which requires fulfilling additional requirements:
- The spouse’s permanent residence should not be the subject of any ongoing inquiries or be under scrutiny for fraud or removal.
- The spouse seeking citizenship must have physically resided in Canada for at least three of the previous four years, equating to 1095 days in Canada during that time.
- Proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages (French or English) is required.
- Knowledge about the nation’s history, culture, and political system is necessary.
As part of the citizenship application procedure, a test will be administered to evaluate language abilities and understanding of Canada. The entire citizenship application process may take several years to complete.
Advantages of Canadian Citizenship
Obtaining Canadian citizenship offers several advantages, including the right to vote, the ability to assist close relatives in immigrating to Canada, protection from legal removal from Canada, and the use of a Canadian passport for travel.
To sponsor a spouse or common-law partner, a person must have the means to assist them financially and must be free from criminal activity. Financial self-sufficiency is crucial, as the Canadian government disapproves of immigrants who rely on government assistance. While social programs are available, you must demonstrate your intent to support your spouse.
Additional requirements for sponsoring a spouse or partner include:
- Being at least 18 years old.
- Residing in Canada or having a plan to do so after your partner or spouse obtains permanent residency.
- Demonstrating the ability to financially support yourself for the next three years.
Immigration agents will require several documents, including relationship information, a sponsorship evaluation survey, a marriage certificate, photos, wedding invitations, and, if applicable, certificates of birth and adoption for children. Evidence of marriage license registration with a government body is also necessary.
A spouse moving to Canada must submit two separate applications: one for permanent residency with the Canadian Case Processing Centre and one from the Canadian citizen spouse. Both applications should be submitted simultaneously. All applicants, including couples, undergo background checks and medical examinations, and failing these tests may result in denial of entry to Canada.
How Long Does Spouse Sponsorship Take?
The processing period for applications is estimated to be slightly over one month. Applicants will receive an update on the approval or denial of their applications after the processing period. It is important to exercise caution throughout the procedure, as errors may not result in rejection but can extend the processing time.
What to Do While You Wait for Approval
You can monitor the status of your application on the official Canada website. If your application is approved, you can prepare for your spouse’s entry into Canada. Ensure that the spouse applying for the permanent resident card has all the required paperwork when crossing the border into Canada.
Online Application Links:
Here are the official links for online applications:
Make sure to visit these official government websites for accurate and up-to-date information on the application process.